Wesfarmers, the owner of Coles Group, has reported a flat first-half net profit, with strong sales growth at its supermarkets.

Like-for-like sales climbed 6% at the Coles Group division, with earnings soaring 22.6%. The retailer said that increasing customer numbers continued to drive growth.

The group’s DIY arm Bunnings delivered strong sales, up 14.1%. Target sales increased 4.2% with comparable store sales growth of 1.7%. The group also reported that Kmart’s turnaround programme was making “very good progress”.